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February 22, 2019

Federal shutdown shut down some home sales in January

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Single family homes are among the former Navy housing being sold at Brunswick Landing . The recent federal government shutdown delayed suspended some real estate transactions that were dependent on federal government-guaranteed loans, according to a Feb. 21 Maine Listings news release.

The recent federal government shutdown delayed suspended some real estate transactions that were dependent on federal government-guaranteed loans, according to a Feb. 21 Maine Listings news release.

"Time will tell how much of the January and rolling quarter decreases are attributable to the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history, which ended Jan. 25," said Peter Harrington, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and broker/partner with Malone Commercial Brokers.

Although home values are holding steady in Maine, there were 12.9% fewer sales of existing single-family homes last month than in January 2018.

Median sales price remain unchanged at $200,000.

"January 2019 statewide statistics show overall decline, though the 837 units sold is the fourth highest January over the past 10 years," Harrington said.

Nationwide, sales declined 8.4% and the median sales price increased 3.1%, to $249,400, comparing January 2019 to January 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

There was a 1.4% decrease in sales in the Northeast, while the regional median sales price rose 0.4%, to $270,000, over that same time period last year.

"Some Maine markets continue to be tight, with statewide for-sale inventory down 2%, compared to a year ago," Harrington said. "The limited supply has resulted in strong home values, which is advantageous for current homeowners looking to build equity, but also becomes a challenge for first-time home-buyers."

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